Allan Priest of Halesowen was sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court to eight months in prison last Friday (15 Nov) for one charge relating to allowing the illegal deposit of waste.
Pleading guilty at an earlier court hearing, the 61-year-old will also serve a further six months in prison for breaching his ongoing Community Order for unrelated offences.
The charge was brought by the Environment Agency (EA) under Regulations 12(1) and 38(1)(b) of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.
EA – “We take waste crime very seriously and will not hesitate to prosecute if necessary, to protect the environment and local communities”
The court heard that in March 2012 Priest entered into a rental agreement of land on Dormston Trading Estate, Dudley, and took full control and responsibility for the land.
During May 2012 he knowingly permitted the land to be tipped on with over an estimated 400 tonnes of household and commercial waste.
On 14 June 2012 an Environment Agency officer visited the site with an enforcement officer from Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council to investigate the deposit. An investigation established Priest was in control of the land and was responsible for who could and couldn’t access it.
As the occupier, Priest was served with a Section 59 enforcement notice in September 2012 to remove the waste. The notice was breached on 3 January 2013 as Priest had made no effort to clear any of the waste.
Priest pleaded guilty to this offence but no separate penalty was given.
Speaking after the case, an Environment Agency officer in charge of the investigation said: “It is against the law for people to allow the illegal deposit of waste on land under their control. The scale of waste deposited had the potential to cause serious pollution and harm to human health, and posed significant fire risk to surrounding businesses. We take waste crime very seriously and will not hesitate to prosecute if necessary, to protect the environment and local communities.”
In sentencing, the Judge stated the seriousness of the offence and noted the aggravating features that this was for financial gain and the landowner must now bear the cost of removing the waste. It was also a deliberate offence and a regular and continuing breach of the Regulations.